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Captain Marvel took the world by storm this past weekend, taking in nearly $500 million worldwide. The origin story of Carol Danvers impressed audiences around the globe and only increased excitement and anticipation for Avengers: Endgame, a movie that will no doubt change the MCU as we know it and potentially push Captan Marvel to the centerpiece of the next phase of the MCU. In honor of Captain Marvel, a hero near and dear to many contributors of the Talking Comics family, Kris and I decided rather than doing a review that we would do a Pro/Con list for the film, looking at some of our favorite moments and maybe a few things we would have done differently.

Warning – There are SPOILERS Below.

Pro:

An origin story done right. Too often super hero movies spend anywhere from the first third to half of a movie telling the origin of the hero. Where Captain Marvel got it right was that they weaved the origin in throughout the film, which was perfect since the viewer was discovering Carol’s history alongside her. I found this to be a smart plot thread and really helped the viewer stay engaged with Carol’s story since we all wanted to know how she came to have powers and end up as a member of Starforce and living on Hala.

-John

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel

There is a sin prevalent in all action movies but is especially egregious in the superhero genre: oversexualization of female characters. Justice League stood out to me for its stark cinematographic choices of Wonder Woman. The camera lingered on parts of her it had no business focusing on to begin with. Marvel, though, is generally better at their handling of female characters, and they do a phenomenal job of sidestepping that problem with Captain Marvel. I didn’t see a single shot of her bottom or top. She was clothed in ways that made sense for the movie, instead of ways to entertain immature boys, while always looking true to the character they created.

The romantic storylines are extremely important in superhero movies, particularly with the female characters. That’s why it was so freaking refreshing to not have any romance in a movie full of strong women. They were all independent, and while there was some light flirting between some supporting characters, it never took the spotlight off the adventure. Instead, the movie focused on friendship and family, and it was all the better for it. I hope more movies forgo the need to bog down female characters with romantic subplots, where the strong women are often transformed into fragile teenagers.

-Kris

Con:

I so wanted to see the Supreme Intelligence on screen. I wanted a giant floating green head with tentacles inside a giant vat to be controlling the entirety of the Kree. The movie did an incredible job of getting the look of the Kree right, almost to the point of lifting them straight off the pages of those early ‘60s Captain Marvel issues but I still wanted the classic look of the Supreme Intelligence. Now I understand for general audiences the comic version of the Supreme Intelligence may have been a bit much and that it was part of the story that each Kree sees something different when they view the Supreme Intelligence but I so badly wanted to see the comic version on the big screen.

-John

As much as Marvel did right with the movie, it didn’t do everything right. The biggest problem to me was it did not take the time to create the cosmic world. If you did not watch Agents of Shield, and you hadn’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy recently, you would leave this movie knowing very little about the Kree. Major aspects of Kree culture are important to the plot, but they are never explained. They are often blue, and they fight Skrulls. That’s all you get about them. The movie has portions that take place in Hala, the Kree capital, and many of the major supporting characters are Kree, but I know nothing about them from the movie.

-Kris

Pro:

The acting was solid on all fronts. Brie made Carol a living breathing person, and while I wouldn’t say she was identical to the comic version, she had all the best qualities. No character has been the same after a movie was made of them, and I am sure we will see some changes in the characters in the current series by Kelly Thompson. Not even changes, really, just small additions, new details to flush out the character even more.

-Kris

Jude Law as Yon Rogg

There is much deserving praise for Brie Larson and Sam Jackson but for me Jude Law was so perfect as Yon Rogg. Yon Rogg was a critical part of Carol gaining her Ms. Marvel abilities back in the early Captain Marvel series and to see that play out on the big screen was so much fun. Jude Law’s portrayal was great since he never oversold the villainy and for a time, I actually thought they might retcon Yon Rogg for the MCU, but thankfully they stayed true to the source material and left Yon Rogg around for future sequels.

Also, the return of Lee Pace as Ronan was outstanding. His portrayal was so true to the character & the filmmakers once again captured the perfect look from the source material.

-John

Con:

Speaking of Villains- you can’t make me like the Skrulls. I’m sorry but I’ve grown up hating the Skrulls. They have few redeeming qualities and when Galactus ate their throne world in Fantastic Four #257 I didn’t shed a tear. Now Captain Marvel went and made them a sympathetic race who we should feel sorry for and even help them find a new home world. Blasphemy! Also there goes any chance of a Secret Invasion movie.

-John

Yet…

Pro:

Talos sported more layers than I expected. Ben Mendelsohn proved more than capable of creating a three-dimensional alien, and he didn’t slack because he was wearing makeup or CGI. His voice, his body language, were always perfect for the scene. His charm was genteel and almost southern, and even though he lacked the accent, he did speak with the slow speed of a drawl. As a villain, he became much more compassionate towards the end. You understood he was just a soldier on the other side of the war. Not evil, just the other side. While this character won’t usurp Killmonger and Loki, he certainly sits near the top of the rankings.

-Kris

Pro:

Even more spectacular was the inclusion of Monica Rambeau, who like her mother, didn’t feel like she just existed to be a useful Easter egg or gimmick. Instead, she burst with exuberance and excitement. Her character’s strength reminded me so much of the Monica from the comics, without all the cynicism that can come from being fridged and marginalized on a few occasions and is usually present in her characterizations. She is strong, smart, and pure, and she will be whatever she wants to be. Pity the fool who gets in her way. Pity the fool who gets in the way of any of these female characters. None were weak, none were fragile. In that regard, the movie was flawless.

-Kris

I knew Kit “Lt. Trouble” Renner (from the incredible Kelly Sue DeConnik run) wasn’t going to be in the movie but by merging that character with Monica Rambeau and still having the hero worship was so much fun to see. And to have it explained that Carol might not remember them but that they would show her the hero she was even before she received her powers. It was a wonderful moment in the movie and an amazing call back to Captain Marvel #17, which may be my favorite issue of the entire Kelly Sue run.

-John

Pro:

Stan Lee in the 1995 Cult Classic Mallrats

Captain Marvel is the first Marvel movie released since the passing of Stan Lee. I had to prepare myself emotionally for Stan’s appearance since I knew it would no doubt affect me. I felt the tears start when the Marvel icon at the beginning of the film has been changed to not pictures of the multiple heroes that fill the MCU but rather it was a montage of Stan Lee appearances with a “Thank You Stan”. It was beautiful. What I wasn’t expecting was the Stan Lee cameo. It was nothing less than genius. It’s a standard Stan cameo as he is a passenger on the train as Carol is tracking down a Skrull. What got me was that Stan was practicing his lines to the 1995 Kevin Smith classic Mallrats. Mallrats was Kevin Smith’s second film and where Clerks was full of Star Wars references Mallrats fully embraced the fanboy in all comics fans and the pinnacle of this came in a cameo by Stan ‘the Man’ Lee. Mallrats was a movie that reinforced in me that comics were not an underground habit. I was a sophomore in college and while in high school I was a hidden fan of comics but in college I began wearing my comics fandom as a badge of honor and a owe a lot of that to watching Mallrats and realizing I wasn’t alone. To include a callback to that movie and possibly the first Stan Lee cameo in a film was brilliant and it had me both laughing and crying at the same time. The people around me must have thought I was having an emotional breakdown but to me it was absolute joy.

-John

So there you go, these are some of our thoughts on the movie and as you can hopefully see the Pros far outweigh the cons as Captain Marvel is an incredible film that not only is groundbreaking in its destruction of antiquated gender norms but truly takes the viewers Higher, Further, Faster!

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